The topic of road safety — especially when it pertains to intersections in the city — has been a big topic of discussion among the Ocoee city commissioners.
In the commission’s most recent meeting Tuesday, April 20, commissioners heard from Humberto Castillero — the traffic engineering manager for Orange County.
Castillero updated the city regarding four-different intersections: (1) Dressage Drive at Apopka-Vineland Road; (2) Ingram Road at Clarcona-Ocoee Road; (3) McCormick Road at Ocoee-Apopka Road; and (4) McCormick at Apopka-Vineland/Clarcona Road. The numbers next to each given intersection were used to represent their priority.
“Unfortunately, this area — Central Florida — we’re No. 1 not only in the region, but in the state and in the nation in terms of fatalities,” Castillero said. “I believe that is not a title that we do not want to hold for so long, so we must be doing something.”
The process of putting in new signals and revamping an intersection is done in three phases. The first is a signal-warrant analysis, which generally takes 12 weeks and costs $8,000 to $12,000. That is followed by a six month-design stage that costs between $45,000 to $60,000, before the final stage of construction begins.
Construction alone requires about nine months to attain all the necessary materials — costing about $350,000 to $450,000. Luckily, Orange County has two construction contracts running to make things easier. It also takes six months lead time to receive the mast arm poles, Castillero said.
At Dressage Drive at Apopka-Vineland Road, the signal-warrant analysis and design costs for the T-intersection ($48,500) already are complete, and the next phase is working with contractors to receive a quote before anticipated construction begins this summer and ends in early 2022.
Meanwhile, the intersection at Ingram Road a Clarcona-Ocoee Road also has the first two steps complete — the design cost was $52,212 — and has a construction cost of around $328,000. For this intersection, the county is drafting a Joint Participation Agreement that will be reviewed by the city. If approved, the cost would be split 50/50, and the anticipated construction would begin in the fall.
Castillero noted the intersection of McCormick Road at Ocoee-Apopka Road has had the most issues with accidents.
“You have two gas stations, you have the Dollar General, you have the Subway shop and you have Ocoee-Apopka — that’s a major part of the corridor to some of the other roads, so there is a lot of traffic happening there,” he said.
The design cost for the full intersection was $45,000, with an estimated construction cost of $200,000 — it is set to begin construction in the spring of 2022. Originally, the county planned left-turn lanes, but because of the $1.4 million price of attaining the needed right-of-way, the county decided against it.
Finally, the signal-warrant analysis determined the left turns at the intersection of McCormick and Apopka-Vineland/Clarcona Road need to be widened. Design costs came in at $110,000, and the construction estimate totaled $1 million. There is no funding available for the project, but Castillero said it has been submitted to the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s project priority list.